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Published 1699

McGeary & Nash. Emblem books at the University of Illinois

Publisher AUGSPURG
Pages 120
Language German; Latin; French; Italian
Call number 3258185
Digitizing sponsor University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Book contributor University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Collection emblem; americana
Notes very narrow margins-some text in the gutter

Full catalog record MARCXML

[Open Library icon]This book has an editable web page on Open Library.


Reviewer: boneycellar$ - - June 17, 2013
Subject: translate
online translator works on the latin as well
Reviewer: ramdalk - - October 25, 2012
Subject: embremas
mui bueno
Reviewer: Salim Mansur Khalid - - October 20, 2011
Subject: greek atrocities in vilayet smyrna
i was wandering to search this book since 30 years,
but today from your site it is available.
for this kindness i slute your book friendly services.
Reviewer: plambers - - February 17, 2011
Subject: What a delightful book!
I briefly studied Emblemata in graduate school, and this book would have been a wonderful reference if I'd only known about it!
The Emblems of Emblem Books consist of three parts, the superscriptio (a motto placed above the picture), the pictura, and the subscriptio (a verse or short essay below the picture_. This book gives the motto/superscriptio in German, French, Latin, and Italian, accompanied by the pictura. The individual writer of an emblem would write the subscriptio, which is usually about the length of a sonnet, and which further explores (but does not _describe_) the idea put forward by the other two elements.

Emblems were an intellectual toy of the Renaissance and Baroque. They demanded that the reader bring knowledge and intelligence to interpreting them, and in return received the pleasure of getting to the heart of them, plus the value of a "lesson" (often a moral lesson, sometimes a trenchant observation about life in general).

The book was published in Augsberg in 1699 and is actually written in both German and French (not counting the other translations of the mottos). It is pretty accessible to anyone who knows any of the 4 languages used.
Reviewer: VLL - - September 22, 2010
Subject: A bit of extra looking: cultural gold!
In this day of "finding everything on the internet" it surprises me that no one else decided to try on-line translation.

I understand that this sort of translation is
risky and not always useful (particularly for such an old text) but it has been instructive to translate several of the different languages separately, compare the results, and deduct meaning that way. Sort of like a cheap-skate version of the Rosetta stone. ;-)

(It helps that I also know a bit of German... but it *has* been 10 years at least...)

From what I can tell, this is a collection of symbolic images that represent a truism, sort of like a snap-shot allegory. My thought is that it was used to elucidate symbolic meaning from art of various sorts... everything from graveyard sculpture, church architecture, to allegorical paintings. This might even be useful for heraldry... but don't quote me on this. I don't know enough about heraldry to really have a good sense as to whether this would apply.

For all I know, this could be the birth of the Tarot card.

A lot of learning was dispensed with symbolic images largely because before the modern era only the educated few could read. Also, I would bet that if you were teaching ethics to minors, having pretty pictures with which to match up your various axioms (not all of which are patently true) would make it more interesting. This way, kids and their notorious distractive habit might pay more attention. Keep in mind that this is, at best, half-educated conjecture.

At any rate:

Each listing for the illustration is first a description (presumably so the reader can orient each entry to picture) then the truism in various languages.

Each of the truisms are written in Latin Italian, and French. Both the truisms and the descriptions are written in German and French, but not in Latin. I suspect because everyone learned Latin in those days, and most of these truisms were probably taught in Latin. Probably under Ethics or some such. Maybe. I'm guessing here, but as an amateur historian I can say that there's some correlation here.

Here's an example: The first listing.

1. Ein Shiff auf dem Meer. NON DORMIT, QUI CUSTODIT. Quille gouverne, ne dorr pas. Chila custodisce, non dorme. Der Heuter schlaffet nicht.

1.A ship on the water. NON DORMIT, QUI CUSTODIT. (He who governs does not sleep.)

Notice how the interpretation of the axiom is in various languages, but the description is only auf Deutsch (in German). You know, just in case you aren't even educated enough to read Latin. :)

A few things that will make it harder for moderns to understand: the "s" particularly in german, looks like an "F". Study German for any length of time and you kind of get used to this because of the "Schaffes Ess" or that weird "B" like thing that sometimes appears to have an umlaut over it.
This also frequently happened in english texts before, I think 1850.

You have to look carefully, but you can tell the difference between the F-like-S and the F's proper. The F's have a more pronounced cross-bar and aren't as curvy.

Hopefully someone with more background than I can come and save all of us from my errors. :)

I only gave this entry *four* stars because some of the text is obscured through water damage, and I don't get the resolution I would love to have with this fine book. Perhaps it's the limitations on PDFs.

None of this is the library's fault of course...
Reviewer: Horace S. Patoot - - August 6, 2010
Subject: Language barrier?
This is a book of illustrations! If you see a horse with one horn growing out of its head, you don't really need someone to translate the word Einhorn.
Reviewer: LoupBlanc - - July 19, 2010
Subject: the Kindle format
Don't choose the kindle format, you get a non sense texte with € $ £ °) etc. Pdf is good.
Reviewer: Bobo Dulud - - January 25, 2010
Subject: explanation of texts
The text is first in German, then Latin, then French, then Italian.
Hope you speak one of these... otherwise it is quite interesting.
Reviewer: dbdcat - - January 24, 2010
Subject: not english but a good reference
it appears to be in german and latin -- we have not sen english yet, though this may be due to the old script.
Reviewer: mr.paterson - - December 9, 2009
Subject: I think this is in french
I can't really read read this, because I think this is in french... can someone send me a link to the english version?